Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Farmington Tornado

Many of you were probably awaken by wave after wave of strong to severe storms that moved through the Cities during the early morning hours of Friday, August 13th. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen determined that an EF-1 tornado touched down about three miles northwest of downtown Farmington at 3:04 AM CDT. The tornado moved in a northeast direction for 1.5 miles.

Farmington tornado

A fellow weather enthusiast, Tadd Parris, informed me that the tornado was very well defined on the radar velocity scan, which is used to see winds blowing towards and away from the radar site. On a simplistic scale, when the winds come together from both directions, it often forms a “couplet”, which is a very good indicator of strong rotation within a cell. Here we can see a couplet just northwest of downtown Farmington that is circled in yellow from a radar image at 3:07 AM. Based on my research, there was no warning of any kind while the tornado was in progress, so residents would have not received an alert on the weather radios or heard sirens sounding.

While significant damage to residential homes was reported, there were no injuries or deaths thankfully. In populated areas, that can be difficult to avoid.

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